While many industrial distributors are jumping into e-
commerce, and others are torn on if or how to begin
offering it, Bolts & Nuts has decided not to offer trans-action-based e-commerce, for the same reason that has
made them a success – its relationship with its customers.
The management team says adding a point-and-click func-
tion to the business risks it losing human interaction, an
element it feels it does better than its competitors.
“We’re finding that many of our competitors are
using technology to replace that human interaction,”
Strunk says. “This team feels very strongly that there’s
the potential to lose sight that fasteners are highly
engineered mechanical devices. Losing that touch
between the distributor’s engineering experience and the
customer could lead to problems down the road.”
While Bolts & Nuts’ new website offering doesn’t allow
customers to buy right from it, it offers everything but.
And in a time when so many other distributors in the same
market feel the pressure to give in to the e-commerce
world, perhaps Bolts & Nuts’ take on the dilemma will be
one to follow.
“As some companies grow really large, there’s a real
danger of losing the relationship side of the situation,”
adds Terry Brock, Bolts & Nuts’ director of customer ser-
vice. “It’s one of the things that really sets us apart from
the large industrial distributors of the world. We have the
capability to service the customer, the experience to assist
them in any situation, and the personal touch. We never
lose sight that the customer is the most important part of
In 2014 Bolts & Nuts began its ‘Community Care’ program, which has made donations to a
local elementary school, the Salvation Army, and raised money for a local charity. (ID photo)